Mediocrity is the great killer of college football programs.
When you’re not good enough to win championships but not bad enough to require major overhauls, things can tend to get stale. That’s when fan interest starts to wane and bad football, or at least boring football, becomes expected.
It’s not a good place to be, but according to CBS Sports writer Dennis Dodd, that’s exactly where the LSU Tigers are headed.
LSU, in the post-Les Miles era, is 8-4 under new head coach Ed Orgeron. The Tigers went 6-2 with a win in the Citrus Bowl last season (5-2 with Orgeron as interim head coach) and have started this season 3-2. The Tigers have lost to Mississippi State, 37-7, and then inexplicably lost to Troy, a Sun Belt team, at home. The Trojans beat the Tigers, 24-21.
No, it hasn’t been a great start for LSU, but per Dodd, there is a way out of the doldrums, and that involved taking a play out of the Nebraska playbook and quickly firing the athletic director.
The blueprint here, believe it or not, should be Nebraska. Last month, that school’s administration fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst three weeks into the season. The unstated reason was the same one Alleva shouldn’t survive on the job one working day longer.
He can’t be trusted to hire the next coach if it’s this month or three years from now. Alleva has maneuvered this starship of a program into tractor beam of mediocrity.
The Avella Dodd is referencing is LSU athletic director Joe Alleva, who is in his tenth year with the Tigers. Avella oversaw the firing of Miles — who at the time was a bit battered but still thought of as one of the top football coaches in the nation — and the hiring of Orgeron, who is a Louisiana native and served as the Tigers’ defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator previous to being named interim head coach.
Orgeron did also have head coaching stints at Ole Miss from 2005-to-2007 and at USC in 2013. He went 10-25 overall at Ole Miss and 6-2 in one season as interim head coach after Lane Kiffin was fired at USC.
Alleva and LSU signed Orgeron to a five-year deal, with a year one buyout of $12 million. That’s a contract that’s not looking good at all right now, thus the reason LSU’s athletic director finds himself in the hot seat.
Thus the reason LSU looks very mediocre at the minute, which is a terrible look for the once powerful SEC program.